Does our Government Funding Model effect Training Delivery

I have touched on the effects of government funding of Training within Australia and the effect that this has or might have on both the kinds and types of training that is being delivered and what might happen if there was a change in the government models of funding.  I wanted today to start to talk about this in a little more depth and look at what might happen under different funding models.

As I have said previously the Australian governments focus on full qualifications stifles delivery options, and even when formal skill sets are dropped into the mix it really doesn’t make for the ability to deliver VET training (at least funded VET training) in ways that are interesting or in a lot of cases useful in terms of what organisations need.  So I have been thinking, and thank you some of my associates on Linkedin who have also talked around this subject with me, what other options or funding models might be available.

  1. What if the Government stopped funding training all together;  This is one that I kick around in my head quite a lot.  It  raised its head for me a little while ago when I was at the AWPA future of work consultation and someone suggested that most organisations would still do the same amount of training that they currently do, it would just be done very, very differently.  I was really challenged by this initially as my initial thoughts were no that is not what would happen, what would happen is that we would go back to doing nothing but legislated training.  Then I realised it wouldn’t actually change a lot for us, sure we would less training that was outside the scope of our internal RTO, but then we would probably increase the scope of our RTO so we could deliver more.  We would just ensure that all of the training we currently have to do for legislative and audit purposes was mapped to Units of Competency, run them as separate programs and if people eventually got to the point of being able to gain a full qualification we would issue the full Qual otherwise they would just have a whole pile of Statements of Attainment for a range of Units.  It certainly wouldn’t cost us anymore than training currently does and there definitely wouldn’t be large groups of people going through programs like the Diploma of Management or Cert IV in FLM, or really anything that was non-core business.  I probably would also have a smaller team, but as I think about it probably not as most of our generated income comes from our specialist non-accredited courses.  Now I do understand that there is a lot more going on with government-funded training than just skilling up people who are already employed, there is workforce participation rates and equity issues as well to mention just two so I don’t actually think no more government funded training is ever going to happen.  So is there another model that might work
  2. Something that I have been thinking about recently is would happen if the government-funded Units of Competency, rather than full qualifications and formal skill sets.  When I think about it this seems like not a bad idea, but what would it mean.  It would mean much more flexibility in the way in which courses could be packaged delivered, assessed and funded.  Units of Competency could be bundled together in various ways offering people choices about how they approached their training.  As currently under the Traineeship model there would be an amount of money allocated to a person in terms of funding that they could then be drawn down on as they completed various UOC’s building up to a full Qualification if that was what they want and if not a series of UOC’s that match what they wanted to do in terms of career progression.  RTO’s and organisations would still only ge the funds on completion of the specific units according to the funds allocated to the units.  This would certainly make it more efficient for organisations where the person leaves before they have completed their Qualification or for what ever other reason doesn’t complete (which currently leaves the organisation out-of-pocket).  Yes it would probably be harder to administer, but then again with the introduction of the Universal Student Identifier maybe not.

I would be really interested in knowing what everyone else thinks about this and also if there are any other models out there that people have been kicking around in terms of ways to fund or not fund training.

About pauldrasmussen
Paul Rasmussen is one of Australia’s most widely read Vocational Education and Training Commentators. He provides deep, unbiased analysis and insights not only on topical issues, but also on the underlying structure and policy which supports the industry. His writing and analysis has been praised for its uncompromising and thought provoking style and its ability to focus on the issues of real importance to the sector. He has advised various government departments and ministers, training providers, public and private organisations, not for profits and small to medium enterprises on the VET sector and the issues and opportunities facing it. He is one of Australia’s most awarded learning professionals and a regular speaker at a range of conventions and forums. His extensive experience in vocational education, and learning and development coupled with formal qualifications in philosophy, ethics, business and education management allow Paul to provide a unique view of the road ahead and how to navigate it.

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